It’s a big milestone for any small business: the realization that their current technology arrangement won’t continue to keep pace with the demands they’re putting on it. While that’s a tough situation to weather, it’s ultimately a good thing — because it means the business is growing. But if you’re not a technologist, or if you just don’t have time to worry about technology, you might want some pointers about how to recognize when you’ve reached this crucial threshold and now need a server.
Have you encountered any of these problems?
Employees want to work remotely, and they can’t. All their data is stuck on their hard drive, and you don’t have the technology to connect remotely.
People want to share files, and they can’t. There’s no central repository for commonly accessed files, so instead John has to ask Mary to email him the files on Client X. John and Mary end up keeping duplicate files on their hard drive. Or worse, each of them modifies the files differently, so now there’s a versioning problem to deal with.
People want to share calendars, and they can’t. As more business comes in, people have to hold more meetings, conference calls, and presentations. But the only way to know when everybody’s available is to poke a head in each party’s door and ask when they’re free. This leads to double bookings, missed meetings, and frequent rescheduling.
An employee leaves the company, and takes their institutional memory with them. This person always worked off their personal laptop. And because there was no other place to store files, they all walked off along with the employee. Now the company has incomplete records (or none at all) relating to that person’s accounts.
People are responsible for their own backups, which they don’t run. If everybody’s working off their own hard drive, they can either back up to the cloud (not a bad idea regardless) or to media on premises (a hard drive, CD, USB drive, etc.). What they can’t do is automatically back up to an in-house server, because you don’t have one.
You know you need a server when these frustrations are holding you back and materially affecting the way you do business. If you’re a one- or two-person shop and you don’t have a data-intensive business, you’re probably fine without a server. But once you start adding employees and feeling the pain associated with not being able to share, collaborate, archive, and back up in a systematic and productive manner, it’s time to start thinking about getting a server.
And one big word of caution: don’t put off purchasing a server because you don’t have the time or the know-how to evaluate or install it! That’s not your job — your job is keeping your business running. A qualified IT advisor like CMIT Solutions can easily walk you through the evaluation and purchasing process, and then perform an installation with minimal disruption for your business. Are you wondering if your business needs a new server? Give us a call at (800) 399-CMIT and we’ll give you our expert advice.